#Article (Archive)

A night of black magique

Dec 29, 2011, 3:39 PM | Article By: Isatou Dumbuya

If you could notice on Christmas day,

Kairaba Avenue
and the Senegambia area were buzzling with lots of activities and the traffic was a jungle. One would have asked where were all those people streaming to. Maybe they were going to the kids’ carnival in Dream Park where a lot of Gambia Musicians were entertaining, the restaurants to enjoy some great food or maybe enjoy the scenery of the night-life.

But this time, most were going to have fun, to celebrate Gambian literature (poetry, short-stories, plays and music) at the Word of Mouth gala-dinner taking place in Djeliba Hotel. That was the place to be. Word of Mouth is one of the activities organized by Balafong on the last Friday of every month. Balafong is a website that is a center for creative writing and peer reviewing.

It also has a face book page that creates the environment for Gambians abroad and Gambians here to communicate, share ideas through questions and answers. Some of the questions ranging from “Does God Exist” or “why do men need women in their lives”. It does sometimes serve as a hotline where a person may ask what he or she should do because a mad-man is infatuated with his or her little-sister, and suggestions would start flowing from all corners of the world.

Tuta Pack was banned earlier this year thanks to the Balafong and its action-team. Word of Mouth is an idea borne from its Administrators Sana Sarr, Latirr Carr, Amran Gaye, Lena Nian, Sat Dior and their team.

“Science might be the heart of every generation but Art is the soul. Handed down from one generation to another, art represents the image and perception of a people at every point in time. At the center of the art soul lies performing arts in all its splendour as it puts the artist’s thought in proper perspective and translates bare words into emotions that would otherwise be left to the interpretation of the recipient. It was this desire to describe the artist’s words that led to the birth of “spoken word”; the art of the “guewel” as she sang the songs of history; the captivating beauty of the opera; the rise of the big screen; and the creation of Balafong’s very own Word of Mouth,” said Latirr Carr.

Besides the people being elegantly dressed, the food was a three-course meal cooked by one of Gambia’s Finest Chefs and there were five of Gambia’s finest artists – Jalimadi and the Holy Family Band, Cyco, Mandingmorry and IB Romeo. Some of the acts were; Free up the African Hair by Musufing, My side of the bed by Fatma Anty Sallah, My perfect man by Manyima Sarr and Haddy Jonga, The novelty of love by Rabia Ceesay and Chey Suma Yegone written by Sana Sarr and performed by Valentine Kabby Banjakey.

Kudos to Unique Solutions, Unique Fm, Paradise FM, DBC quality Printing and Advertisement, Ministers Fatim Badjie and Mamburry Njie for honoring our invitations.

Some of the Companies mentioned above have shown their relentless support by buying corporate tables. Besides the food being great (considering the fact that there were Sauteed potatoes, Grilled lamb, an assortment of vegetables and fruits) and the tapping of feet, shaking of heads to the music and the clapping of hands at the right times, the people were thrilled by seeing one of the brains behind Balafong who doubles as a poet and short-story writer, fly from the United States of America to perform a play (In a Jail Cell) with Sana Sarr – a play he wrote himself.

This shows that together, if we start supporting and celebrating Gambian literature, we can come up with our own generation of Chinua Achebes, Wole Soyinkas and Nana Grey-Johnsons, thus, leaving a legacy to generations yet unborn .